Volume 46 : Articles

The Amazonian House

A Place of Women's Politics, Pottery, and Prestige

By: Brenda J. Bowser

Dusk was falling in the Amazonian house. Two men sat silently. The host was dressed for war, his face painted red, wearing his feathered headdress, his shotgun propped beside him against the house post. The visitor sat facing him. Silents, a woman appeared from behind her husband. No one spoke until she served chicha beer […]

What Is a Water Trough Where a Horse Can’t Even Get a Drink?

An Abandonded Roman Sarcophagus By the Wissahickon

By: Donald White

Now the Wissahiccon is of so remarkable a loveliness that, were it flowing in England, it would be theme of every bard, and the com­mon topic of every tongue. Edgar Allen Poe, Morning on the Wissahiccon, on a park sign at the Lincoln Drive entrance to Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA. Even the normally unamiable Ambrose […]

Museum Mosaic – Winter 2004

People, Places, Projects

Endowments, Contributions, and Grants Our deepest thanks go to Bruce and Peggy Mainwaring for their unwavering generosity and commitment to the Museum throughout the years. Because of their extraordinary kind­nesses, the Museum has established endowments to support Marketing, a Senior Research Scientist position, and a Collections Management position. Tom and Kitty Stoner and the TKF […]

Henri Rey

The Inventor from Tahiti

By: William Davenport

Imet Henri Rey in Tahiti in 1965. He was living in semi-retirement in the district of Pirae, about three kilometers outside Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia. With him lived two grown daughters, Pauline and Henriette, and usually several grand­daughters. A Tahitian cook from Moorea Island, called Tutu, came in daily to prepare three meals […]

Re-Orienting Yoga

By: Sarah Strauss

The train pulled out of the station. I was riding in the famed Rajdhani Express, on the way back from Bombay to Delhi. Across from me in the compartment, two middle-aged, middle-class TIndian businessmen looked hot and uncomfort­able in their standard Western style business attire—jackets, ties, the works. They wondered what a young, unaccompa­nied, non-Indian […]

‘The Culture of Reading’ in a Public School

Ethnography, Service-Learning, and Undergraduate Researchers

By: Carolyn Behrman

Scores from a 2002 standardized Reading Proficiency Test for fourth graders surprised the principal of Wensleydale Elementary School (pseudonym). Her school is typical for its urban Ohio district, sharing all the issues of funding, stiffing, unions, uneven student background and preparedness, and decaying facilities faced by other urban, public schools in the U.S. The principal […]

Babies as Ancestors, Babies as Spirits

The Culture of Infancy in West Africa

By: Alma Gottlieb

Old Souls One Day I was sitting in the shaded compound of a Beng village in the West African rain forest, playing “This Little Piggy” with the toes of six-month-old Amwe. As the last little piggy went home, I laughed aloud at myself. The baby could not possibly understand the words of the nursery rhyme, […]

The Value of ‘Culture’

An Example from Mongolia

By: Paula L.W. Sabloff

Cultural Anthropology doesn’t get much respect from the public these days. Archaeology, on the other hand, remains beloved because it captures people’s imag­ination, and biological anthropology is valued because it satisfies people’s desire to understand what makes us human. But what does cultural anthropology con­tribute? Has its usefulness and the public’s interest in it faded […]

Robert W. Preucel, Associate Curator, American Section

Meet the Curators

By: Deborah I. Olszewski

One of the many hats Robert W. Preucel wears as the Gregory Annenberg Weingarten Associate Curator of North America is Chair of the Museum’s Repatriation Committee. This committee is charged with implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAG-PRA) passed by Congress in 1990. You may be familiar with this aspect of Preucel’s work […]

William Davenport, Curator Emeritus, Oceanian Section


By: Gulbun O'Connor

William Davenport Died on March 12, 2004, in Philadelphia. He was a great teacher and friend, and after all these years, I still feel privileged to have worked with him. In 1963, on our way to the Solomon Islands, Bill and I met in Tahiti and traveled through Fiji and New Caledonia together. He was […]